My corset was hot!—because it was summer, in Texas, what did you think I meant? I was fully embedded in my role as Mrs. Hedgecoxe, a rude antebellum liar trying to convince naïve dupes to buy land here. The naïve dupes were played by modern visitors, who did not believe me when I said “the weather in Texas is perfect, never too hot, never too cold, and always just the right amount of rain.” They did admire the Village’s retail opportunities, a general store that I assured them stocked both dress fabric and plows. Since we were inhabiting a year decades before the train reached Dallas, I explained the Depot as a proactive construction by a town confident of its future growth. And then I asked if they were ready to make the arduous journey o ..
(/images/postimages/2-stores.lr_.jpg) Why must beauty be more than skin deep? Why be genuine when fake is more appealing? I’m just talking about buildings here. Modest little buildings occupied by business owners who want their establishments to appear impressive, professional and well-established, so they “put up a front,” literally, to claim that image. What would you do if you found yourself the first storekeeper to arrive with a wagon full of goods at a new frontier town growing near the latest gold strike? Celebrate, because you would be destined to make a lot more money off of that gold than most of the miners, who lacked the foresight to bring adequate tools and food. They will have to buy from you, at any price you choose. First, ..
Dear Blue House at 1423 Griffin, formerly 285 Browder I hear that you will soon be adding a new address to your history-by moving to another lot in the Cedars. The same thing happened to me, over 25 years ago, and a few of my joints still ache, but it is better than the wrecking ball. You and I were born in the same era of beautiful Victorian houses. We nurtured people. I know that you lost one of your humans to a tragic car accident. One of my young residents drowned—it was hard to accept that he would never again slam my front door and bound up my stairs. But, we are sturdy and made to outlast humans. I hear that you have been fortunate enough to lure some into spending their money, which they value highly, on moving you and putting you back together. Even some of ..
Who doesn’t love a front porch? A cheerful place to relax on the swing with a refreshing cold drink. Wave to the neighbors taking an evening stroll, greet the mailman, watch a child shakily ride down the sidewalk on a new bike. Who doesn’t love a porch? Me, many days. I have 19 of them here at the village to maintain, and doing so leaves me little time for swinging or sipping or waving. A porch is basically a room with no exterior walls. What would happen if we took the exterior wall off of one of your rooms? Before you proclaim the joys of fresh air and sunshine, consider rain, snow, sleet and hail, birds and bees and rotten fruit bouncing off of trees. See the floor buckle and pop, the wood rot and collapse. Look, a visitor approaches, to put a foot through that ..
On January 19, 1966, a group of women met and organized the Dallas County Heritage Society to save Millermore, the largest remaining antebellum home in Dallas County. Though formed to save just one remarkable house, this group went on to save, move and restore almost 30 historic structures at City Park, creating the museum you know today as Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park. (/images/postimages/02-16-1972-photo-by-lee-langum.jpg) From the Millermore front porch, February 16, 1972 As historians, we’re pretty good at remembering important dates (though it would have been much more clever if I had posted this entry two days ago, on the 49th anniversary of DCHS getting the restraining order to stop the demolition of Millermore), but we don’t always tal ..